SWABI: Prolonged delay in monsoon rains this year has been forcing the growers here in the district to make alternative arrangements for irrigation of their tobacco crop.

In a chat with this correspondent here on Friday, the growers said that monsoon rains were helpful for their crop and they eagerly waited for them every year.

They said that currently they had been hiring water pumps on rent for irrigating their crop.

Sherin Zaman of Pirtab village said that the rain not only fulfil their irrigation needs, but also washed away numerous small insects from the tobacco leaves.

“Rain makes the tobacco crop clean and strong,” he said. “The monsoon season proves very helpful for our crops, especially tobacco,” said Shahab Khan of Maneri Bala.

When contacted, leaf mangers of both the national and multinational tobacco companies said that tobacco crop was planted in winter and harvested in summer, but it got healthier with the monsoon rain.

They said that they always advised the farmers in tobacco cultivating districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that strong crop had healthy leaves which could easily go through the curing process and did not lose weight.

They said that without rain a good quality of tobacco could not be acquired. “A good quality crop is linked with the monsoon rains. Tobacco needs a lot of water during hot summer days,” said a leaf manger of a company.

KILLED: A woman died after she was hit by a dumper truck on Swabi-Mardan road in Ismalia village area of Razaar tehsil on Friday.

Officials in Kalu Khan police station said that the woman, who could not be identified immediately, was trying to cross the road when the incident occurred.

They said that the woman’s body had been put in Kalu Khan civil hospital for identification.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2020